CSI Camp Gives High School Students a Taste of the Real World of Forensic Investigations #GVCopbeat #cmu #grandjunction

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IMG_5726This week western slope high school students learned what real CSI investigators do as they work to solve crimes and track down the bad guys.  Grand Junction Police Department forensic investigators taught much of the hands on, three-day course offered by Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College, including blood spatter analysis, forensic photography, and cell phone forensics.

“The idea behind the course is to stimulate interest in forensic science and criminal justice programs,” said Jane Quimby, Director of Public Safety at CMU.

Each of the 14 students received a notebook with different modules that were based on a real, unsolved case that happened in 1842.  That case involved a husband and wife that were found dead in a farmhouse, and the husband was partially burned in a fireplace.  Using what they learned throughout the course the students worked to see if they could figure out “who done it.”IMG_5724

“My favorite thing was when we went to the crime house and saw the CSI truck,” said Brianna, a 17-year-old student.  “When they took us to the blood spatter room, that was really cool because you get to learn what caused them.”

Some of the other topics covered in the course included:

  • evidence documentation and processing
  • fingerprint classification, lifting and comparisons
  • forensic anthropology
  • firearms identification analysis
  • courtroom procedures and testimony

“I like the photography and learning about the different lenses and depth of light and amount of light,” said Iz’Jayna, 17-year-old student.  “I didn’t know all that until now, so it’s really cool.”

Footprint evidence is illuminated by chemicals used by investigators
Footprint evidence is illuminated by chemicals used by investigators

IMG_5738As part of the application process for the course, each student had to have a recommendation by a current high school teacher or counselor.  A portion of the camp is paid for by a grant from the El Pomar Foundation with the goal of inspiring students and sparking interest in careers and college.

For 17-year-old Hailee, “I want to do drug enforcement, so I thought it would be a good experience before I go through the police academy.”

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